Smart Buying

Best Time to Buy Big-Ticket Items

To every car, appliance or home, there is a season.

You could save a bundle if you make major purchases at times when prices are most likely to be at their lowest levels of the year.

Car. In early fall, dealers are trying to clear their lots to make room for the new models, so you’re likely to find generous discounts, cash rebates and extra-low-interest financing on the outgoing models. It can also help to wait until the end of the month, preferably a weekday, when dealers are eager to meet their sales quotas and even more willing to reduce prices. (See: How to Get a Great Deal On a New Car.)

Home. House-hunting in February can save you some serious cash. The median selling price of a home was 6% less, on average, compared with the rest of the year, according to a recent study from Attom Data Solutions, which tracks real estate data. (See our quiz: How Smart a Home Buyer Are You?)

Major appliance. Wait until September or October to buy a new dishwasher and dryer, and other major appliances. You can expect to find discounts of about 20% or more on older models as retailers make space for new arrivals. (See our quiz: How Long Should It Last?)

Smartphone. New phones typically drop in price a few months after their release date—which varies by manufacturer—but the previous-generation phone’s price falls immediately. For example, when Apple released the iPhone 7 last September, prices on the older 6s dropped by almost $100, according to DealNews.com.

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